Success factors in high-effect, low-cost eHealth programs for patients with hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sebastiaan Blok, Eva L. van der Linden, G. Aernout Somsen, Igor I. Tulevski, Michiel M. Winter, Bert-Jan H. van den Born

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: eHealth programs can lower blood pressure but also drive healthcare costs. This study aims to review the evidence on the effectiveness and costs of eHealth for hypertension and assess commonalities in programs with high effect and low additional cost. Results: Overall, the incremental decrease in systolic blood pressure using eHealth, compared to usual care, was 3.87 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.98–4.77) mmHg at 6 months and 5.68 (95% CI 4.77–6.59) mmHg at 12 months’ follow-up. High intensity interventions were more effective, resulting in a 2.6 (95% CI 0.5–4.7) (at 6 months) and 3.3 (95% CI 1.4–5.1) (at 12 months) lower systolic blood pressure, but were also more costly, resulting in €170 (95% CI 56–284) higher costs at 6 months and €342 (95% CI 128–556) at 12 months. Programs that included a high volume of participants showed €203 (95% CI 99–307) less costs than those with a low volume at 6 months, and €525 (95% CI 299–751) at 12 months without showing a difference in systolic blood pressure. Studies that implemented eHealth as a partial replacement, rather than addition to usual care, were also less costly (€119 (95% CI –38–201 at 6 months) and €346 (95% CI 261–430 at 12 months)) without being less effective. Evidence on eHealth programs for hypertension is ambiguous, heterogeneity on effectiveness and costs is high (I2 = 56–98%). Conclusion: Effective eHealth with limited additional costs should focus on high intensity interventions, involve a large number of participants and use eHealth as a partial replacement for usual care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1579–1587
JournalEuropean journal of preventive cardiology
Issue number14
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Hypertension
  • ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • costs and costs analysis
  • healthcare costs
  • self-management
  • telemedicine

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